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This multi-method, longitudinal study considered the interplay among depressive symptoms, aversive interpersonal behavior, and interpersonal rejection in early and middle adolescents’ friendships. In particular, the study examined a newly identified interpersonal process, conversational self-focus (i.e., the tendency to redirect conversations about problems to focus on the self). Traditional interpersonal theories of depression suggest that individuals with depressive symptoms engage in aversive behaviors (such as conversational self-focus) and are rejected by others. However, in the current study, not all adolescents with depressive symptoms engaged in conversational self-focus and were rejected by friends. Instead, conversational self-focus moderated prospective relations of depressive symptoms and later friendship problems such that only adolescents with depressive symptoms who engaged in conversational self-focus were rejected by friends. These findings are consistent with current conceptualizations of the development of psychopathology that highlight heterogeneity among youth who share similar symptoms and the possibility of multifinality of outcomes.
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- Depressive Symptoms and Conversational Self-Focus in Adolescents’ Friendships
Rebecca A. Schwartz-Mette
Amanda J. Rose
- Springer US